There are many types of abusive relationships. Verbal abuse and physical or sexual abuse are the most obvious ones. Relationships can be financially abusive and emotionally abusive. The crux of every abusive relationship is in exploitation. When one person exploits the other person in the relationship, in one or more ways, it ceases to be a normal or cordial relationship.
Every relationship can turn abusive. To avert an abusive relationship, one has to spot the symptoms or warning signs and prevent the onset of the abuse. If a person is already in an abusive relationship, the corrective measures must be taken or one should just walk away from the relationship.
In case of emotionally abusive relationships, things are a little more complicated. It is not as obvious as being verbally abused or physically assaulted. Emotionally abusive relationships are much more subtle. Here are some warning signs for emotionally abusive relationships.
1. Jealousy is a common warning sign for emotionally abusive relationships. While a tinge of jealousy that stems from fear of loss or insecurity can be good in romantic relations, at the beginning especially, yet the same jealous feelings can become dangerous over time. Jealousy can make people do things that are harmful for the relation and for other people. If there is an abnormal level of jealousy in a relation, then the relation is going to become emotionally abusive, for either or both partners.
2. Possessiveness is another very common warning sign of emotionally abusive relationships. Like jealousy, possessiveness to an extent is actually desirable. It establishes a proof of love or feeling of togetherness but when possessiveness becomes obsessive or a borderline case of ownership, then it is absolutely unpleasant.
3. Jealousy and possessiveness will lead to controlling behavior. In some cases, controlling behavior can give birth to possessiveness or feeling of the same. Controlling behavior is undesirable for anyone. When one person begins to control the actions, freedom and whereabouts of their partner, it is the beginning of emotional abuse. While the exertion of controlling behavior may be physical and can seldom be mental or psychological, there are indirect ramifications to the controlled person’s psychology. There can be disastrous impacts of the same.
4. Emotionally abusive relationships will always have one person being excessively demanding of the other. Unrealistic expectations, one person doing a lot and the other person bringing very little on the table, one person being invested entirely and the other person being aloof, one person expecting nothing but doing almost everything will always lead to grave disappointment. Such emotionally abusive relationships can scar a person’s psyche to an extent that is beyond recovery. The only way out is to stop being emotionally invested. Reducing the vulnerability of getting hurt or for disappointment will ensure that a person is within the scope of recovery or salvaging.
5. When one person is dealing with isolation or is being made to feel alone or isolated, the other person is emotionally abusing the relationship and the affected person. These occurrences are very common in many kinds of relationships. One person is always available for the other but when it is the time for the other person to be available as well, it just doesn’t happen. Such cases of emotional abuse are very common among friends, married and unmarried couples.
6. One of the most surefire warning signs of emotionally abusive relationships is frequent blame games. When a relationship is healthy, either of the two people involved will own up to their faults. In some cases, there would be mutual agreement as to accept that it was no one’s fault. Such understanding is the bedrock of any relationship because everyone in the world has some faults and everyone will commit mistakes, few or many. If blame games replace the understanding or mutual agreements, then the relationship is certainly abusive. It may so happen that only one person will be affected or both would be affected. In either case, the relationship needs some counseling or some serious reconciling.
7. Emotionally abusive relationships stem from hypersensitivity, rigidity or lack of flexibility and obsessions of one or both the partners. Rigidity is very common in relationships that have soured over time. Flexibility remains unflinching during the nascent stages of any relationship, which changes over time. Hypersensitivity is a very common problem in emotionally abusive relationships. Whether it is being hypersensitive to something good or something worrying, over the top reactions are not healthy in any circumstances. Obsessive behavior of one or both the partners would surely exploit the other person or abuse the relationship itself. Mild forms of obsessions are not worrying but when they become too much to bear or become paranoia, it is time to ring the warning bells.
Most relationships in the world are emotionally draining, especially those that are born out of love, but emotional abuse is an extreme form of emotional draining, which is what you should watch out for.